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Cario H.,University of Ulm | Smith D.E.C.,VU University Amsterdam | Blom H.,VU University Amsterdam | Blau N.,University of Zürich | And 13 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2011

The importance of intracellular folate metabolism is illustrated by the severity of symptoms and complications caused by inborn disorders of folate metabolism or by folate deficiency. We examined three children of healthy, distantly related parents presenting with megaloblastic anemia and cerebral folate deficiency causing neurologic disease with atypical childhood absence epilepsy. Genome-wide homozygosity mapping revealed a candidate region on chromosome 5 including the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) locus. DHFR sequencing revealed a homozygous DHFR mutation, c.458A>T (p.Asp153Val), in all siblings. The patients' folate profile in red blood cells (RBC), plasma, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, was compatible with DHFR deficiency. DHFR activity and fluorescein-labeled methotrexate (FMTX) binding were severely reduced in EBV-immortalized lymphoblastoid cells of all patients. Heterozygous cells displayed intermediate DHFR activity and FMTX binding. RT-PCR of DHFR mRNA revealed no differences between wild-type and DHFR mutation-carrying cells, whereas protein expression was reduced in cells with the DHFR mutation. Treatment with folinic acid resulted in the resolution of hematological abnormalities, normalization of CSF folate levels, and improvement of neurological symptoms. In conclusion, the homozygous DHFR mutation p.Asp153Val causes DHFR deficiency and leads to a complex hematological and neurological disease that can be successfully treated with folinic acid. DHFR is necessary for maintaining sufficient CSF and RBC folate levels, even in the presence of adequate nutritional folate supply and normal plasma folate. © 2011 The American Society of Human Genetics. All rights reserved.

Gu J.,Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center | Li S.,Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center | Zhang X.,University of Houston | Wang L.-C.,Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center | And 7 more authors.
DNA Repair | Year: 2010

Human nuclease Artemis belongs to the metallo-beta-lactamase protein family. It acquires double-stranded DNA endonuclease activity in the presence of DNA-PKcs. This double-stranded DNA endonuclease activity is critical for opening DNA hairpins in V(D)J recombination and is thought to be important for processing overhangs during the nonhomologous DNA end joining (NHEJ) process. Here we show that purified human Artemis exhibits single-stranded DNA endonuclease activity. This activity is proportional to the amount of highly purified Artemis from a gel filtration column. The activity is stimulated by DNA-PKcs and modulated by purified antibodies raised against Artemis. Moreover, the divalent cation-dependence and sequence-dependence of this single-stranded endonuclease activity is the same as the double-stranded DNA endonuclease activity of Artemis:DNA-PKcs. These findings further expand the range of DNA substrates upon which Artemis and Artemis:DNA-PKcs can act. The findings are discussed in the context of NHEJ. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Wahl J.,University of Ulm | Bogatyreva L.,University of Ulm | Boukamp P.,German Cancer Research Center | Rojewski M.,University of Ulm | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2010

The Ewing family of tumors (EFT) is an important group of pediatric malignancies with a guarded prognosis. Little is known about the heterogeneity of EFT cells, and the cellular origin of EFT is disputed. We now add evidence that EFT are heterogeneous by showing that EFT cells from spheres growing in serum-free medium are markedly more tumorigenic than adherently growing EFT cells. Furthermore, EFT cells strongly expressing CD57 (HNK-1), a surface marker for migrating and proliferating neural crest cells, are more tumorigenic than cells with low expression of CD57, possibly mediated in part by enhanced adhesion and invasion. We contribute to the controversy about the cellular origin of EFT by clonal analysis, showing that EFT cells can differentiate similar to neural crest cells. These data increase our knowledge about the pathogenesis and heterogeneity of EFT. © 2010 UICC.

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